Guest blog submitted by two_days_until_forever
This is my response to the Lovelyish entry: Beauty Pageants: Self-Esteem Booster or Confidence Breaker?
As a pageant queen myself, I have encountered many people who are completely uniformed about the true essence of beauty pageants. I also find that many people believe the stereotypes and generalize pageants as a whole. I find this very upsetting. General stereotypes and generalizations are often criticized, yet many people do not seem to find an issue in placing them upon pageants. One pageant may emphasize certain ideals or one contestant may behave inappropriately, but this does not mean all pageants and contestants fulfill that particular image. Let me break it down for you into two truths.
1. All pageant girls are not the same.
Laugh all you want at Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007 Caitlin Upton’s unintelligent response at the Interview segment of the national pageant. Shake your head at the behavior of Miss USA 2006 Tara Connor. Does the behavior of those two women mean that all pageant queens act that way? Absolutely not. You could not be farther from the truth if you believed that all pageant girls are not making the most of their education or that the girls go wild at clubs. Sadly, we all see the media reports about certain contestants who do represent these distasteful images. But there are many more girls who are not portrayed that are responsible.
I have never gone clubbing and I assure you that I am not confused about my global geography. I would feel ashamed to hold a title and to embarrass my pageant company and mock pageants all over the world in such incidents. I know that many other beauty queens feel the same way. Most contestants put admirable efforts into their schoolwork and strive to be well-informed citizens about national and global current events. Most contestants take pride in making safe decisions for themselves and others.
Every pageant girl is her own individual human being. We each have our own interests and passions. I enjoy fashion design and I have sewn some of my own gowns. However, the girl next to me may be a soccer star, a clarinet talent, or something else. We may enter pageants for different reasons.
Some girls are truly vying for the glory of the crown (or their mother is pushing them to), some love the gowns and glamor, others are interested in scholarships, and so forth. Not all of us are bleached blonde and dipped in the most unnatural orange self-tanner with perfectly fake French manicure tips glued to our fingernails.
Pageants are a wonderful source for beautifully diverse girls to come together for the competition. We are unique sources of intelligence, talent, and beauty. Please recognize that all pageant girls are not the same.
2. Beauty pageants are created differently.
Apparently all beauty pageants only judge girls on how much beauty they possess and crown the prettiest of them all. Wrong! Beauty pageants get a hard time for demanding girls to be beautiful, yet I do not see the problem with this. I realize that most people assume that pageants seek outer beauty, but a true pageant queen is so much more.
It is true that some pageants do have very strict standards of outer beauty and base the results upon such factors. However, not all beauty pageants follow that code. One pageant system I love and have participated in myself never hosted a swimsuit competition and accepts girls of all sizes to successfully compete. The judges look for real women who are strong and sparkling on the inside. These girls are also happen to be lovely to the eyes as well, but then again I am a person who believes all women are beautiful in their own special way. Not all pageants discriminate due to size and outer beauty. Many beauty pageants simply judge the poise and confidence of a contestant, not just her pretty face and toned body. All beauty pageants judge on varying aspects and therefore represent different women.
Get the facts before bashing beauty pageants, please. While there are individual contestants or competitions who do not give the beauty pageant the respectable association deserved, that doesn’t mean all beauty pageants do. There are many beautiful women of all different races, shapes, sizes, and nationalities across the world that exude the beautiful, intelligent, charitable and poised young women that many beauty pageants strive to celebrate.
How much of this information did you know before — has your view toward beauty pageants changed? How many of you have participated in beauty pageants before?